Evaluation and Support


A healthy teaching profession recognizes and rewards its excellent teachers, helps all teachers to grow, and when necessary counsels out its lowest performers.

Robust teacher evaluation systems provide teachers, schools, districts, and states with the means to this end. Diverse perspectives of teachers' impact on student learning, including objective measures, need to be considered. We know these systems are working if they can distinguish the full range of talent, not just a thumbs up or down, and serve as the engine for teachers' development. That's what robust means.

Making a Difference: Six Places Where Teacher Evaluation Systems are Getting Results

Oct 2018

The past decade has been marked by rapid changes in teacher evaluations. While many districts and states announced their intention to install better systems, they faced political and structural challenges. In this study, NCTQ examines evidence of the impact of teacher evaluation in six places (four districts and two states) that have stayed the course in developing and implementing improved teacher evaluation systems: Dallas Independent School District, Denver Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, Newark Public Schools, New Mexico, and Tennessee

A Word from Kate Walsh

A Word from Kate Walsh

Nothing in education has been more disappointing than many school districts' reticence to genuinely consider more robust evaluation systems. The many benefits such systems offer have been drowned out by some legitimate but not insurmountable concerns. There's been a lack of imagination for solutions and an unwillingness to give new, fairer tests a chance. Still, it's too early to give up as there are some successful innovators in this space. Others cannot be far behind.

The evolution of state policies for teacher evaluations:

In 2009, only 15 states required evaluations to include some measure of a teacher's impact on student learning.

Today, much has changed - on paper, at least. Now 39 states require districts to assess a teacher's impact on learning as part of their evaluation and include this measure in their definition of an effective teacher. These policies now need to be merged with practice.

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A strong evaluation system can pave the way to fairer, data-driven decision making in every stage in a teacher's career. Three states are lighthouse innovators: Delaware, Florida, and Louisiana. 

Explore These States

Looking at our sample of 147 of the largest districts in the nation, we examined what each uses to measure a teacher's performance. 

The most common measure is the classroom observation of a teacher, with the state test a close second. 

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The right evaluation system links to key decisions that affect a teacher's career trajectory.

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Explore Evaluation

Explore Evaluation by clicking on the blog posts and publications. Filter the content by selecting subtopics below.

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